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Introduction to Preceptorship for Students

While clinical preceptorship is a required component of your naturopathic education, it will also provide some of the most rewarding experiences of your medical school training. The ND Preceptorship / Experiential Learning program provides the opportunity to be mentored by a variety of preceptors in diverse clinical settings. You will be expected to integrate the basic and clinical sciences you learn at school with real world clinical scenarios.

Your experiential learning preceptor may engage you in all manner of supervised clinical activities, ranging from observation of the preceptor’s patient interactions to participation in patient interviewing, physical and diagnostic examination, and therapeutic interventions. The level of your participation in patient care is dependent upon your preceptor’s licensure as well as their wisdom and discretion.

Preceptorship provides students with a supervised opportunity to:

  • Observe varied clinical pathologies and development of differential diagnoses
  • Develop and/or observe communication skills during the medical interview
  • Perform and/or observe physical examinations and diagnostic evaluations
  • Develop and/or observe methods for fostering patient rapport and improving patient compliance
  • Develop and practice oral case presentation skills
  • Observe how a healthcare provider handles difficult patient encounters
  • Deliver and/or observe therapeutic interventions and assess their effectiveness
  • Observe business strategies for creating a viable practice

Outcomes and Competencies

Outcome – Medical Knowledge


  • Observe or elicit the taking of a complete and accurate medical and biopsychosocial history.
  • Observe or perform complete and appropriate physical examinations.
  • Demonstrate increasing proficiency in case presentation skills.
  • Observe the creation of or demonstrate the ability to write progress notes in a standard format with pertinent content.
  • Recognize the appearance of varied clinical pathologies and formulate differential diagnoses.

Outcome – Patient Management


  • Provide evidence-informed ideas in discussion of treatment protocols that are consistent with naturopathic principles.
  • Observe and participate in the formulation of therapeutic interventions, and assess their effectiveness.

Outcome – Communication and Collaboration


  • Demonstrate the ability to function as part of a patient care team.
  • Demonstrate the ability to establish patient rapport.
  • Recognize strategies for dealing with difficult encounters, increasing patient compliance, and encouraging return visits as appropriate.
  • Demonstrate or observe the delivery of diagnostic findings and diagnoses, and provision of patient education around those findings.

Outcome – Practice-Based Learning and Improvement


  • Demonstrate a commitment to independent learning.
  • Demonstrate acceptance of critical feedback.
  • Demonstrate integration of basic science and clinical knowledge.
  • Demonstrate ability to accept uncertainty.
  • Demonstrate clinical curiosity.

Outcome – Ethics and Professionalism


  • Demonstrate respect, compassion and integrity in patient and professional interactions.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles of medicine.
  • Adhere to NUNM clinic and preceptor handbook requirements of professional conduct and attire.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to patients with a variety of cultural, ethnic, and financial backgrounds.

Outcome – Practice Management and Business Skills


  • Observe business strategies for the creation of a fiscally viable practice.

Outcome – Systems-Based Practice


  • Observe and develop an understanding of the process for patient referrals and consultation with other healthcare providers as required.